Complaints Mounting Over Jennifer Convertibles’ Peeling Leather Sofas, Limited Warranty

jennifer_convertibles_leather_peelingConsumer complaints over peeling leather Jennifer Convertibles sofas and the chain’s leather protection plan are mounting.

Consumers allege that the pricey leather sofas are defective and that the leather peels off in large sheets and clumps, leaving them with unsightly pieces of furniture, according to Daily Finance. A “The Today Show” report revealed that consumers are complaining that their leather Jennifer Convertibles are falling apart with just daily wear.

One consumer told “The Today Show” that she paid $1,700 for a Jennifer Convertibles sofa in 2005. The leather on the Jennifer Convertibles sofa began peeling off in masses and sheets in the first year, she alleges, and is, now, nearly fully peeled off, according to Daily Finance. She told Today Money that, when “You sit on the couch and when you get up, parts of it peel off.”

The customer told “The Today Show” that she bought a “bumper to bumper” plan for an additional $200, adding that she was led to believe that the additional plan would cover the sofa’s serious defects, NBC Today reported.

Jennifer Convertibles maintains that the customer’s problems were not covered by the warranty and states that they went “above and beyond,” offering her replacement parts or a refund of the warranty. According to the consumer, she was never offered replacement parts and only received a $200 refund on the warranty. “I’m a single mother,” she said. “I have two children. I don’t have the extra money to go out and buy another sofa,” she told “The Today Show.”

The plan sold by Jennifer Convertibles for its leather sofas has created controversy among consumers. For instance, another customer said that he bought the so-called “leather protection plan” for his sofa; however, when he told Jennifer Convertibles about his peeling sofa, he was advised that the extended coverage plan does not cover peeling leather. Jennifer Convertibles’ leather protection plan does state in its fine print that leather peeling and cracking are not covered; however, NBC, learned that sales staff is not always very direct or consistent from store to store about the plan’s exclusions, Daily Finance reported.

This is not the first time that Jennifer Convertibles has been the focus of consumer controversy. In 1998, after refusing to make repairs, the New York attorney general ordered the furniture maker to compensate hundreds of its customers who claimed that they received damaged furniture, Daily Finance reported. In fact, on the Consumer Affairs’ website, thousands of complaints over peeling leather and unsatisfactory delivery practices related to Jennifer Convertibles can be found.

For its report, “The Today Show” went undercover at two Jennifer Convertibles stores to see how sales people were explaining the leather protection plan’s peeling and cracking exception, according to Today Money. At one store, the clerk did explain that wear and tear, including leather cracking, is not covered under the plan, “They don’t cover that part,” he said.

At another Jennifer Convertibles store, the saleswoman did not discuss the leather protection plan’s cracking and peeling exception, but did tell Today that, “We do have a protection plan for five years so if something happens, food and beverages, rips, cuts, tears, punctures, they’re all covered: They get you a brand new sofa within five years,” she said. “Definitely you should get the protection plan, she added.”

“The Today Show” brought the damaging video to Claire Rosenzweig, CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York, and asked if different sales people from the same company should issue differing warranty information to consumers. “No, it should be consistent,” Rosenzweig told “The Today Show.” For its part, Jennifer Convertibles told “The Today Show that, “We encourage transparency. We encourage disclosure. We train our salespeople to present the products and services … honestly and proudly … if we find that a salesperson has done something against this policy, we will deal with it accordingly.”

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs is investigating Jennifer Convertibles for a number of issues, including sales staff misrepresenting the $200 leather plan warranty, according to Today Money.

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